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The camo colours of the original (pre-1985 style) T-64 tanks fighting against Ukraine


KRK4m

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Apparently, Donetsk and Luhansk separatists have been using old versions of the T-64 (without ERA bricks) against Ukraine, and in recent weeks, similarly ancient T-64s have also reached the combat zone in Russian colours, retrieved from somewhere in the remote corners of Russia or from vast warehouses of reserve equipment.

I have photos from a scrapyard in Kiev, where there are piles of such T-64s with three-digit white numbers on the turret (I don't know if Soviet, Russian or Ukrainian) in three-colour camouflage: blue-grey/brick red/olive green. Do the original (pre-1985) T-64s currently fighting against Ukraine also wear such colours?

Cheers

Michael

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If it’s the picture I’m thinking of, then it’s a T 72, there is a T 64 with sort of the same on the side skirts but it doesn’t extend over the turret or hull. Most T 64s used by the republics were from Ukrainian storage/stockpiles and pre Date the current conflict so any camouflage schemes would be Ukrainian.
The T 64 is a Ukrainian designed and manufactured tank, hence why all the Russian one were stored/destroyed, lack of spares and generally being expensive and crap. I have not seen any photos of a T 64 currently not being used by the Ukrainians alone, I have not seen a separatist one since the start of the invasion ( depending when you believe the invasion started)

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 the T 64

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Edited by Old pro
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Yes, @Old pro, this is the very junkyard. And in your second photo you see 2 early T-64s. The historical and geographical intricacies of the T-64 and T-72 are known to me and I think I can distinguish them 😉.

The only question remains whether this #733 is a vehicle withdrawn from the Ukrainian army or re-taken from the separatists. Rumours have it that the hijacking of several T-64s from Ukrainian depots by separatists became a perfect cover for Russia to deliver other T-64s from the Russian reserve - there are some photos on the Internet showing separatist T-64s with modifications typical of Russian vehicles, but without standard modifications for Ukraine. That's why the issue of this camouflage is so interesting.

Do you think that this three-colour camouflage from the Kiev cemetery is typical only for Ukrainian tanks? The Soviet T-80s withdrawn from Germany 30 years ago looked similar. That's why I wonder whether the Russian T-64s now being sent from antique warehouses to the front are also painted this way.

And if you look closely at the tank #733 from Kiev, https://pl.pinterest.com/pin/222365300345275227/   while the turret itself is indeed completely olive, there are traces of grey and brown not only on the side skirts, but also on the hull and all the bins surrounding the turret.

In another photo   https://pl.pinterest.com/pin/697846904742673755/     you see the T-64 again with "the colours" only on the side skirts. But behind it you can see the barrels of two more tanks in a full mosaic of Soviet colours: light and dark olives, orange and red browns, ash grey and black. It's a pity that these tanks cannot be seen in their entirety.

Cheers

Michael

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Not sure what typical Russian modifications are? There are typical Ukrainian mods that only Ukraine use but most of the separatists T 64 are Soviet era either from Russia or from stockpiles in Ukraine. There is plenty of photographic evidence that both Ukraine and the separatists used brown paint on their vehicles, usually green, brown and black, and sometimes grey on everything from T 64s to 2S19s so it seems a more Ukrainian thing, but all these photos are from before the 2022 invasion, technically before then it was a civil war.

the problem with the tank graveyard photos are the amount of weathering the vehicles have undergone being exposed to the elements, ascertaining the colours and distinguishing from rust is difficult but yes both sides had brown camouflage colour. There are plenty of pictures cropping up claiming to be recent but can be traced back to before 2022 and much earlier, even before 2014.

There are pictures of soviet era T 64s in grey camouflage and the Ukrainians are still using brown but unless you have a picture that identifies it as a separatist tank I would be wary, I once had someone try and tell me the Bulat was Russian.

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Ukrainian forces had largely standardised on the T-64BV as their main MBT pre-war with about 660 in service, about half upgraded to a 2017 standard.  Some older T-64A and B were in storage, maybe 500+.  The 100 or so BM Bulats built had been put into storage and only a handful of T-84s had been built, with some sold to the USA as OPFOR training assets and maybe as few as 5 in service. T-84 Oplots were only built for export.  New T-80s were only built for export too, although there may have been up to 100 older ones in storage.  Up to 500 T-72s may have been in storage.

 

Russia had withdrawn the T-64 in all its forms from service some time before the conflict but continued with the T-80.  Although being Russia they were probably put in a shed somewhere without any preservation or maintenance.  T-64 became a Ukrainian product after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  So the balance of probability is that separatist T-64s are from Ukrainian stocks, which would seem to match them being the older models held in storage.  There is talk of Russia re-starting T-80 production.  That is apparently the most recent tank design they can now build without Western content that is no longer available.

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